The Natural Running Network show

The Natural Running Network

Summary: Running is the most popular recreational activity in the world. More people run to achieve fitness than any other medium of exercise. Unfortunately, over 70% of the running community is injured due to improper training and running form. The Natural Running Network addresses these issues and provides highly relevant tips to help runners stay healthy. We also interview luminaries from the endurance world including but not limited to Obstacle Course Racing, Triathletes, Ultra-Marathon runners, Obstacle racers cyclists and all the support systems and professionals tied to these sports.

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  • Artist: Richard Diaz
  • Copyright: Copyright 2013-2015 Diaz Human Performance LLC


 Are Trails better than Road for Runners? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:15

There is much controversy that surrounds the choice of running shoes and how they may or may not protect you from injury. Some say they won’t run on pavement because it hurts their knees or gives them shin splints. In this interview, I speak with Dr Emily Splichal a world renowned board certified Podiatrist and founder of Evidence Based Fitness to debunk some of the confusion surrounding the topic.

 Lauren Fisher and Jenn Ryan visit The Secret Lab | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:20

Two of the Fittest Women in the World Some may argue, that the fittest athletes on the planet are CrossFit athletes.  I am not going to argue for or against the prospect.  What I will defend is that Lauren Fisher and Jen Ryann have shown the world on many occasion that they belong on the short list!  Lauren, a seven time Crossfit Games competitor and member of the 3rd fittest Crossfit team in the world and Jenn Ryan the 2019 age group champion at the Crossfit Games in 2019  work hard to earn those accolades.  In this interview, held at The Secret Lab we discuss their visit, what they had learned and what they will take away from spending half of the day with me.  Putting these ladies to task and revealing their potential was eye opening for us all. The two ladies operate a virtual training program exclusively for women, you can find them at:

 Virtual Racing with OCR Stars | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:39

Things suck these days if you yearn to compete.  The Corona Virus has everyone around the world in lock down mode.  Finding an outlet for your competitive drive has been a challenge onto itself this entire year.  With so many race companies struggling to stay afloat, not many have given a care for the athletes, whom many, have already struggled to eek out a living from the sports they love.  Enter Hunter McIntyre, an early adopter in the OCR profession.  Aside from the beat downs he’s handed out, the sport has not been kind to him.  Becoming a world champion in multiple disciplines only to have the sports who paid him, ultimately failed him.  What’s an athlete to do?  Answer… produce his own competition with the focus on giving competitive athletes in the sport a fighting chance to earn a decent purse IF they can win the competition set forth.  Enter – OCR Stars a competition developed by one of the top OCR athletes in the world for athletes.  If I have just perked your interest, be sure to listen to an unfiltered conversation between long time friend and coach Richard Diaz and Hunter McIntyre. Visit:

 Breathing - Best practices for performance | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:05

Breathing – Best practices for performance! Everyone has at one time or another, pondered the idea: What would be the best way to breathe while running?  There are so many opinions on the subject, it’s no wonder so many are confused.  Veejay Jones – Elite OCR athlete and I (Richard Diaz) thought it would be entertaining to discuss some of the popular theories on the subject and offer up our own opinions.  Are you a chest breather? Have you ever heard of diaphragmatic breathing?  Do you get cramps in your sides when you red line in competition?  It may very well be that the way you breathe is holding you back from your next best performance!  Is breathing exclusively through your nose a good idea? How about hypoxic training, simply holding your breath? Ever heard of the Wim Hof Method?We had some fun with this one.  Listen in and you may even learn how long Tom Cruise can hold his breath!

 OCR Performance Professionals | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:22

Coach Diaz and Elite OCR Athlete Veejay Jones share details of their OCR Performance Project a virtual group training program for aspiring Spartan competitors.  Aside from this, Coach Diaz also shares some insights into his freshly released book- TRAINING THE DARK SIDE. This book is a great read for any endurance athlete hoping to better understand RUNNING FORM and TRAINING THE ENERGY SYSTEM to develop unstoppable ENDURANCE and through an incredibly unique approach. We’re going to have some fun doing it! To see us LIVE visit this link! Be sure and subscribe to the YouTube channel while you’re there! Lots of great content. To learn more about the OCR Performance Project, visit this link:

 TIPS ON HOME EXERCISE WHILE YOU… HUNKER DOWN! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:03:03

Veejay Jones (pro obstacle course athlete) and I Richard Diaz (his coach). Discuss current affairs, home exercise options and what's the best treadmill to buy for your budget.

 Ryan Fischer talks about Dark Horse II with Coach Diaz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:48

The Dark Horse program is a highly innovative approach to training for CrossFit and other High Intensity competitions.  Behind the research Coach Diaz has invested in anaerobic metabolism and lactate tolerance training, the reveal is Dark Horse II an 8 week training program. The question is often raised, will this type of training be beneficial if I’m only interested in fitness or is it appropriate for the new Hyrox competition?  The big question was, why heart rate? Does heart rate really need to be part of my training and what benefit does it offer? These questions are answered along with more details on how it all came about along with the success of some of the best CrossFit Games athletes.  Be sure to check out the video on YouTube and follow Coach Diaz on Instagram to learn how to get access to this program @diazhp.

 Another 24 hr OCR World Championship hits the U.S.? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:27

Who knew?  One day as I was surfing social media, I hear Ryan Atkins mention that Platinum Rig is bringing a 24 hour competition to the states!!!  Like most enthusiasts, I’ve heard of this line of rigs and how formidable they were. Does anyone remember Battle Frog?  They introduced some of these rigs in their events before they said goodbye.  As inquiring minds want to know, I reached out to these folks to learn more.  They kindly responded and set up an interview with one of their people.  Turns out Hélène Dumais is quite the endurance athlete herself and she shared the details.  This as you’ll find is quite a different approach to OCR as we know it.  I don’t want to spoil the details, you’ll have to listen to find out what’s on tap.  I will share that this event is claiming to be an OCR World Championship and is slated for August of this year on the East Coast!  For more details and registration visit

 DO YOU? CONCEPT2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 35:15

Arguably the most reliable ass kick ass piece of cardio equipment, the Concept2 rower, has been embraced for decades in sport.  It has been a staple in Crossfit and now with 2 additional pieces, the Bike and Ski erg these devices are world renowned for delivering a workout that is… shall I say “setting the bar high” not only in Crossfit but now in Hyrox the new fledging OCR style indoor fitness challenge.  Because there has been so much scuttle butt on how to approach these devices to turn out the best performance, I thought, why not reach out to Concept2 and get some expert advice?  This episode is an interview with Greg Hammond who has been a part of the Concept2  family for over 23 years and a fierce competitor in his own right.  I wanted to know… * How do you approach the Ski erg to get the fastest times without imploding? * What is the best practice for setting the damper in competition?  * Which cardio piece should someone purchase for a great fitness tool? * All that and more! If you intend to compete in Hyrox or Crossfit, you’ll not want to miss this episode!


Veejay Jones and I discuss… * How the race season is shaping up* Training Secrets I won’t share* Spartan World Championship moves to Abu Dhabi* Hyrox, is it the new thing in OCR? Yes, we covered a lot of ground in this episode. How Veejay took down The Spartan LA Super and Sprint, the season openers for him. Lots of opinion, some cool heart rate training information and politics of the sport, all in all a pretty entertaining podcast… also an opinion.

 IS HYROX THE NEXT BIG THING IN FUNCTIONAL FITNESS? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:39

Elite OCR/Fitness Athlete Ryan Kent Here we are at the conclusion of 2019 and change is in the air.  I can recall when Spartan Race first made a splash and inspired millions to get off the couch.  Is it possible that from this movement a new challenge has spawned from this rave?  Enter Hyrox, coined as a functional fitness challenge with multiple challenges divided by eight 1K sprints.  It seems perfectly suited for those who have wet their whistles on Obstacle Course Racing.  A product from across the pond that is gaining legs here in the US.  For my last episode in 2019, I asked Elite Spartan Athlete Ryan Kent to be my featured guest to discuss Hyrox the new rage in the OCR community.  Ryan, having won the the second event in the country is literally chipping away at the current world record. The Showdown in Chicago is the next event on the calendar promises to be an Epic battle between himself and Hunter McIntyre, winner of the the Miami event earlier this season.

 BLACK FRIDAY Q&A 2019! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:59

Really enjoyed fielding questions during our Black Friday Q&A Show! As always, it’s hard to get to all of the many questions. Fear not! Some people that may have felt left out either got a private response to their questions or STILL WON A GIFT!  If your name or IG tag is in this list, send us your contact info (email will suffice) and we’ll see to it that you get your gift! During this episode VeeJay Jones and Coach Diaz spoke about Running injuries, Training volume, Black toenails and a whole lot more! Thank You to the great guys at for your support! List of winners! @MaryannBruce77 @buffetathlete @tragicomique @brinthastert @sarahjr7 @monty6007

 What’s a Virtual Gait Analysis? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:37

Mark Falcone Ever wondered what it would be like to have Coach Diaz provide a Virtual Gait Analysis? With the permission of Mark Falcone, we share the experience with you! Unvarnished conversation between a real life client and Coach Diaz discussing the outcome thus far. Like Mark, a lot of Spartan Race Athletes identify that they have much needed work on their run game if they hope to get onto the podium. Mark decided to take a shot to see if in virtual reality can a good running coach/mechanic help him and make a difference. If this has been on your mind, here’s your chance to hear how it works and what to expect from a real client! Details for this service can be found b visiting

 Spartan Race standardizes courses for 2020 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:40

“Coach” Richard Diaz and his protege/client – elite Spartan Pro Veejay Jones. In this The First Episode, we discuss changes in Spartan Race course design leading into the 2020 season.  Big changes are afoot! Standardized distances and number of obstacles.  What are your feelings on this massive change? Are you for or against?  Once that’s done, we share thoughts on Off Season approaches.  Do you have an Off Season?  When and how do you approach it?  Two hot topics discussed by a well renowned coach and a highly competitive OCR athlete. We hope you enjoy it.  If you do, please leave us a comment, what would you like us to chat about, who would you like us to bring on and by all means … SUBSCRIBE TO GET MORE OF THIS!

 The Lake Tahoe Ultra Beast – Agony and Estacy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:32

If success is a measure of suffering, those who braved the course at the Spartan Lake Tahoe World Championships have much to be proud of.  Alison Haase was successful.  She did not only challenge herself by braving the Ultra beast in weather conditions that caused many to bow out, she went on to take the win!  You might be asking yourself… Alison who? Know she is not one of the high profile athletes on the circuit, she is just someone who put in the work, trained hard, followed direction and put her shoulder to the wheel and came out victorious and beyond even her own expectations.  This interview is uncommon.  Its more inspirational (in my mind) because given the right circumstances, it could have been you!


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